Saturday's MAC Volleyball Results

Updated 11/7/2010
Saturday's MAC Volleyball Results
Kent State 3, Buffalo 1
Ball State 3, Central Michigan 1
Northern Illinois 3, Bowling Green 0
Eastern Michigan 3, Toledo 0
Western Michigan 3, Miami 1
Ohio 3, Akron 2



Kent State 3, Buffalo 1
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Kent State volleyball team got back on the winning path, picking up a 3-1 (25-15, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21) Mid-American Conference East Division road triumph over Buffalo today (Nov. 6) at Alumni Arena.

A double-double by junior Maigan Larsen (Lancaster, Wis.) helped the Golden Flashes (11-18, 4-10 MAC) halt a seven-match losing skid and sweep the season series over the Bulls (16-14, 4-10 MAC) for the first time since 2007. Kent State outlasted Buffalo in five sets, 3-2, on Oct. 1 in Kent, Ohio.

Larsen tallied team highs with 12 kills and 13 digs as Kent State posted a .302 team attack percentage while limiting Buffalo to a .209 attack percentage. Senior Lauren Jones (Kentwood, Mich.) joined Larsen in double figures with 11 kills. Jones also matched the team's best in blocks in the match with five (one solo, four assisted) while senior Celia Sabo (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) chipped in five more (five assisted). Freshman Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) dished out 36 set assists, and senior Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) compiled 12 digs.

Three kills by Nowak and one apiece by Sabo and senior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) helped Kent State open the first set with an 8-4 lead. Four straight points by the Flashes -- including kills by Sabo and Brivule -- forced the Bulls to call their second timeout with Kent State owning a 12-5 lead. That didn't slow the Flashes' attack, though, as a double block by Jones and Sabo, a service ace and a kill by Brivule and a kill by Sabo extended the Kent State advantage to nine at 19-8. Two kills by Jones, a kill by Larsen and a kill and a service ace by Sabo sealed the set win and put Kent State ahead in the match, 1-0.

The two teams traded points throughout the beginning of the second set as three kills by Larsen and back-to-back double blocks by Jones and Sabo and Brivule and sophomore Kathy Krupa (Burbank, Ill.) helped the Flashes match the Bulls at 12-all. The Golden Flashes were forced to call a timeout after Buffalo rattled off three straight to take a 15-12 lead. Kills by Larsen, Sabo and Nowak and helped even things at 16-all. The Bulls went back up, 20-18, but a Buffalo error and a service ace by Brivule knotted the score again at 20-all. The Bulls grabbed a 23-20 advantage, then put the Flashes on the brink at 24-22. A kill by Larsen gave the Flashes hope of a comeback win, but an attack error by Kent State helped the Bulls tie the match.

Buffalo made sure the Flashes had to fight for the set win in the third, opening with an 8-2 lead. Two kills by Jones, a service ace by freshman Hannah Herc (Eden, N.Y.) and a double block by Sabo and Brivule helped the Flashes pull within two at 12-10. Two service aces by Barr and a kill by Nowak put the Golden Flashes in the driver's seat at 16-14. The Bulls crept back to within one at 19-18, but three kills by Krupa and one apiece by Nowak and Jones gave the Golden Flashes a hard-fought 2-1 set lead.

Three kills by Larsen, two kills by Jones and service aces by Nowak and Sabo helped the Flashes open the fourth with a 15-12 lead. Kent State went up by five at 20-15 with two kills by Nowak and one apiece by Larsen and Krupa. The Bulls pulled within three at 23-20, but the Flashes refused to be denied as a kill by sophomore Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) completed the match win for Kent State.

Kent State concludes the 2010 regular season with home matches against Bowling Green (Nov. 12) and Miami (Nov. 13). Both matches are set for 7 p.m. Fans of Kent State volleyball will have the opportunity to honor seniors Barr, Jones, Sabo and Brianne Wille (Metamora, Ill.) for their contributions to the program prior to the match against the RedHawks.

Ball State 3, Central Michigan 1
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - - The Ball State women's volleyball team secured at least a share of the Mid-American Conference regular season title for the first time since the 2002 season with a thrilling 3-1 (18-25, 26-24, 25-21, 25-23) victory over Central Michigan Saturday night at CMU's Finch Fieldhouse.

In addition, the Cardinals improved to 22-4 (12-2 MAC) on the year and earned a first round bye in the upcoming 2010 Mid-American Conference Tournament. Ball State can lock up the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament with a win over Toledo next Thursday (Nov. 11) or against Akron next Saturday (Nov. 13) at Worthen Arena.

"It is great to come home and play for an out-right championship next week," said Ball State head coach Steve Shondell. "I am thrilled for the University. We have a great volleyball tradition at Ball State, and I am glad to play a small part in bringing that tradition back. It has been awhile since we have won a championship, and I give a lot of credit to the girls, the coaching staff and the Ball State administration for their support. It's been a total effort from everyone involved, including our great fans who have been a huge part of our success."

The Cardinals can also earn the No. 1 seed with an Eastern Michigan win in one of its final two matches at Northern Illinois (Nov. 12) or at Western Michigan (Nov. 13).

Central Michigan, which was the preseason favorite to win the MAC West Division, falls to 13-13 (7-7 MAC) with the loss.

"It was another great team effort tonight," added Shondell. "We were completely out-played in game one, but we did not panic and picked our game up in the second set and played pretty steady the rest of the night. CMU came in with a lot of emotion on senior night and would not let anything hit the floor in the first set."

Freshman outside hitter Whitney Heeres (Flushing, Mich./Flushing Senior H.S.) led the Ball State attack with 15 kills, including the match-winning blast. Heeres also tallied a pair of digs and one of BSU's two solo blocks.

Also playing a large role in the Cardinals victory was senior defensive specialist Karin Caudill (Selma, Ind./Burris Laboratory School). While she finished the contest with just one dig and two service receptions, her play in the first set helped Ball State gain the momentum in the match according to Shondell.

"I give Karin a lot of credit for helping turning the match around," added Shondell. "She came in when we were struggling in the first set and made some big plays to help us capture the momentum late in the game. Her play really got us going in the right direction and was an inspiration for the rest of our team."

Fellow freshman outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North H.S.) and junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North H.S.) each collected 14 kills in the victory. Baker added eight digs and a .353 (14-2-34) hitting percentage, while Brandl hit a team-best .440 (14-3-25) and tallied five digs and four blocks.

Senior libero Alyssa Rio (Wayne, Ill./St. Francis H.S.) paced all players with 26 digs, raising her career total to 2,023. She is just the second player in program history to collect over 2,000 career digs, joining Stephanie Keller (2001-04) who finished her career with 2,273.

Also scoring double-digit digs for the Cardinals was freshman defensive specialist Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls H.S.) with 11.

Brittany McGinnis (Fraser, Mich./Fraser H.S.) led the Ball State offense to a .218 (58-24-156) hitting effort, dishing out 46 assists to go along with five kills, four digs and four total blocks.

Kaitlyn Schultz paced the Central Michigan offense with 16 kills, while racking up a .429 (16-1-35) hitting mark to help CMU to a .248 (53-17-145) rate of success for the night. Lindsey Dulude and Laruen Krupsky added nine kills apiece. Lisa Johnson paced the Chippewas with 17 digs.

The Chippewas posted the first three points of the opening set and never looked back, forcing the Cardinals to use their first timeout trailing 9-3. CMU cruised to a 22-11 lead, only to have Ball State rally off the next the next six points, cutting the advantage to 22-17. Unfortunately, CMU scored three of the final four points to win the frame 25-18.

Central Michigan scored three of the first four points in the second set, only to have a McGinnis kill and back-to-back Heeres markers give the Cardinals their first lead of the match at 4-3. CMU fought back to take a 10-8 advantage, only to see three kills from Baker help BSU rattle off the next five points, giving the guests a 13-10 edge and forcing a Chippewas timeout.

CMU answered with four of the next five points, tying the score at 14. With Ball State leading 18-17, a Val DeWeerd kill sparked a 3-0 CMU run causing the Cardinals to call for their first minute break. The teams traded the next seven points, before a kill from BSU's Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven H.S.) stopped the back-and-forth battle and tied the score at 23.

Following the Chippewas' second timeout, an attack error gave BSU set-point at 24-23. CMU would survive BSU's first attempt to win the set, but a Heeres kill gave Ball State another shot. The Cardinals would not let this opportunity slip by, as a kill from Jennifer Boyd (Evans City, Pa./Seneca Valley H.S.) kill ended the game at 26-24.

The teams battled to a 10-10 stalemate to open the third game, before a block from Boyd and Brandl shifted the momentum to BSU's side of the court. BSU followed with the next three points, including an ace from Fredrich, to cause a CMU timeout at 14-10.

The Cardinals maintained control of the frame from there, pulling ahead by nine at 21-12 after a Marx blast to CMU's sport court. The Chippewas would not go down without a fight, however, scoring the next six points to pill within three at 21-18.

A Marx kill following BSU's second timeout ended Central Michigan's run, while a CMU service error and a block from Boyd and Marx gave the Cardinals set-point at 24-19. Three rallies later, a kill from Baker gave the Cardinals a 25-21 victory in the set.

In another tight battle, Ball State played to a 18-15 lead in the fourth set, only to have Central Michigan rattle off three straight points and even the score at 18. A kill from Baker stopped the Chippewas' rally, while an attack error pushed the score to 20-18 in favor of the Cardinals.

Despite a Baker blast off the block, CMU battled back to knot the score at 21 thanks to a pair of Schultz kills. BSU responded with kills from Baker and Brandl to force Central Michigan's second timeout at 23-21. The Chippewas answered with a Dulude kill and a block to tie the score once again at 23-23.

Following Ball State's second minute break, a Brandl blast gave Ball State match-point at 24-23. After a furious rally, Heeres followed with a match-winning blast which secured BSU's first MAC Regular Season title since the 2002 season.

The Ball State women's volleyball team concludes the 2010 regular season next weekend with a pair of home matches. Thursday, the Cardinals host Toledo in a 7 p.m. match which will be televised by the Ball State Sports Network. Saturday, the Cardinals celebrate senior night with a 7 p.m. first serve versus Akron.

Northern Illinois 3, Bowling Green 0
DeKALB - Sarah Angelos tallied 10 kills and a .471 hitting percentage to lead the Northern Illinois volleyball team to a 3-0 victory over Bowling Green, Saturday at Victor E. Court in the Convocation Center.

The Huskies improved to 24-5 overall and 10-4 in Mid-American Conference play, as they outhit Bowling Green in every set and .284 to .179 for the match. The Falcons fell to 8-21 overall with a 2-12 record in league play.

"We did a really good job of staying composed and not letting a lot of things affect us," NIU head coach Ray Gooden said. "We came in with a ton of energy because it's been so long since we've been at home."

The match was the first for the Huskies in DeKalb since Oct. 16. NIU is now 13-2 at the Convocation Center. The win helped NIU bounce back from a five-set loss at Western Michigan two nights ago.

"We really wanted to have a good showing, especially after the tough loss on Thursday," Gooden said. "It was nice for us to get back, let loose and feel comfortable again."

Freshman Lauren Wicinski led the Huskies with 11 kills, but it was Angelos and Mary Kurish who were most efficient on the attack. Angelos tallied 10 kills on 17 swings with only two errors, while Kurish went 9-for-14 with just one misfire. Meghan Romo chipped in seven kills with a .333 hitting percentage, while Allison McGlaughlin added five kills.
"On the whole it was a really good team effort," Gooden said.

Northern Illinois' strong defensive play at the net helped the Huskies achieve 14 block assists, the most since Oct. 2 against Miami (OH). The Huskies added three aces to that total. Gooden puts blocks and aces in a special category when breaking down the match.
"Anytime our team can score some ‘fast points,' I think it helps us," he explained. "Fast points we equate to either aces or stuff blocks."

The Huskies jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first set. Kurish put down two attacks during the run, which forced Bowling Green to call an early timeout. BGSU would battle back to tie the set at 12-12 and hung around until a 6-0 run cued by the service of Sue Hayes gave NIU a 23-17 advantage, which they carried to a set one win.

In set two, NIU never trailed, but the Falcons stayed within three points throughout. The set stayed even into extra points, when a Wicinski kill from Kristin Hoffman gave NIU a 26-24 win. Bolstered by the confidence of a two-set lead and a how crowd of 532, NIU took an early 4-1 lead in the final set. The Huskies led for the duration of the set, finishing the Falcons with a 7-2 run.

The Huskies have two more home games to wrap-up the regular season. NIU hosts Eastern Michigan, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. in game one of a Huskie double-header with the men's basketball team. Basketball begins at 8 p.m. as the Huskies host Northwestern. Fans who purchase a ticket to volleyball also receive general admission to the NIU basketball game. NIU volleyball will conclude the regular season the next day, when it hosts Central Michigan at 7 p.m.

Eastern Michigan 3, Toledo 0
YPSILANTI, Mich. ( -The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team swept the Toledo Rockets in three sets on Senior Day at the Convocation Center Saturday, Nov. 6. With the victory, the Eagles move to 23-8 on the season, posting a 10-4 mark in the Mid-American Conference.

The Green and White were led by Rachel Iaquaniello's (Plymouth, Mich.-Dearborn Divine Child) 14 kills, while Ashley Mason (East Lake, Ohio-Lake Catholic) recorded the lone double-double for EMU, notching 36 assists and 16 digs. Freshman Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) had seven kills and five aces on the night for the Eagles.

Eastern Michigan started the first set down 3-0, but quickly closed the gap after a kill by Iaquaniello and an attack error by Toledo's Becca Reidy. The Green and White later found themselves down 9-7, but gained the lead after two service aces by Roback, locking the score at nine apiece. Control continued to bounce back and forth between the two teams, but the Eagles pulled ahead, scoring five unanswered points to bring the score 22-15 in favor of the Eagles. A kill by senior Jenn Swartz closed out the set at 25-21.

EMU again found themselves down to start set two, 3-1, but eventually tied the score after a kill by Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio-Orrville) and a service ace by Kristin Baker (Mentor, Ohio-Mentor). The set remained tied through a majority of the match, until the Eagles pulled ahead from a 23-23 tie following two kills by Short and service ace by Baker to clinch the second set.

In the final set, the Eagles quickly pulled ahead 9-4 after three kills and consecutive service aces by Roback. Kills by Iaquaniello and Short brought the score to 16-7 as the Eagles continued to press forward to a 21-18 lead over the Rockets. Toledo pulled to within two points at 23-21, but EMU never looked back and secured the victory after kills by Short and Jenn Swartz (Canton, Mich.-Westland John Glenn) to end the set at 25-22.

The Green and White will return to action next Friday, Nov. 12 when they head to DeKalb, Ill. to face off against Northern Illinois in the final weekend of MAC regular-season play. The match is slated for a 6 p.m. start.

Western Michigan 3, Miami 1
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Western Michigan's volleyball team extended its home win streak to 18 matches with a four-set victory over Miami (25-19, 25-19, 23-25, 26-24) but not after having to battle back for wins in sets two and four. Allyson Doyle hit .310 and had 10 kills but also showed up defensively with 20 digs and three blocks.

Ashley Turnage and Jessica Brown hit .714 and .667, respectively in the Broncos' (20-8, 10-4 MAC) 25-19 opening set win with Turnage turning in five kills and Brown with four. Turnage would end the match hitting .370 and 14 kills with four blocks defensively. She and Brown (12 kills) were two of four Broncos to finish with double-digit kills on Saturday night, joining Doyle and Ali Gossen who led all hitters with 16.

Miami battled back in the second set, taking an 11-9 lead after Taylor Richard had an error on her attack. The next time the Red Hawks scored a point, they would be down by four points in the set. Turnage started the rally with a kill and the next six points came thanks to Miami attack and ball handling errors. WMU took a six-point lead seven times in thes set, ultimately winning on that margin on a kill by Brown.

The Broncos went back and fourth with Miami in the third set but had to battle back from five-point deficits twice before tying the score at 20-20 on a Turnage kill and then took the lead on a kill by Lena Oliver. WMU had the lead two more times in the third set, once at 22-21 on another Turnage kill and again at 23-22 on an attack error by Miami. The RedHawks scored the the final three points of the set to force a fourth.

Sam Viox, who finished the match with 52 assists also became involved in the attack as she recorded three of her four kills of the match in the fourth set, while also dishing out 16 assists in the final frame. Turnage turned up her offense with five kills on six attempts in a set that saw four lead changes and the score tied seven times.

The Broncos continue their homestand with MAC West rivals Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan on Nov. 12-13. Both matches are set for 7 p.m. starts. The match against EMU will be Senior Night where Allyson Doyle will be honored.

Ohio 3, Akron 2
AKRON, Ohio - Ohio Volleyball atoned for an early-season loss and spoiled Akron's Senior Night on Saturday with a four-set victory, 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-20). Sue Jacobi matched a MAC season-high with 22 kills and Katie Post registered her third-straight game with double-digit kills (12) for the victorious `Cats (16-11, 8-6).

Jacobi registered her third-straight double-double with a team-high 13 digs and Post led the way with eight blocks. The `Cats registered 14.0 total team blocks as they moved one game ahead of the Zips in the race for the MAC East Division crown.

The backline of Mollie Geske, Kelly Colyar and Meryl Bender continued to gel. Colyar had 12 digs, her second-consecutive game with 10 or more digs, a first in her young career, while Bender picked up her ninth-straight game of double-digit digs. Michelle Jantsch finished with a match-best 41 assists, marking the third-straight match with 40 or more assists for the senior setter.

"It was fun to see the freshmen make a couple big plays in matches because we see it in practice," Head Coach Ryan Theis said. "You like to see their practice play translate over to the game. The upperclassmen get excited when the younger players are able to step up and make plays."

In the first set, Jacobi had four kills and the team accumulated four total blocks, while five other players registered solo kills for the Bobcats. Down 13-11, Ohio regrouped and back-to-back aces by Post put it up 16-13. After that, Akron scored five in a row and eight of nine for a 21-17 lead. The teams would go back and forth over the next six points before an Akron kill closed it out at 25-20.

Ohio quickly fell behind 5-1 in the second set but closed back within three at 9-6. However, Akron scored four-straight points to take their largest lead at 13-6. Now trailing 18-13, Ohio was able to get a trio of kills from Post, one from Mandy Nichols, a block and a Kent error to move back ahead 19-18.

The score would be deadlocked 23-23, when Ohio received Lexie Hartnett's second kill of the set for a lead. Nichols closed things out with a thunderous smash to even the match.

Ohio had their best attacking percentage of the evening in the second set, hitting .452. That average was helped by Jacobi and Post's six kills apiece. That duo hit .409 on 22 total attempts.

"I think the second set got us believing and Katie's consecutive aces got us going," Theis said. "Sometimes all it takes is a little belief."

With the match tied 1-1, no one could imagine the rollercoaster ride that awaited both teams in the third set. Ohio led 9-7 before Akron rolled off seven successive points for a 14-9 lead. The Zips would eventually take nine of 11 for an 18-11 advantage.

A kill and two aces from Jacobi cut the gap to 19-16 and created some buzz on the Bobcat bench. However, four of the next five points went in the favor of the Zips for a 23-17 lead and things started looking bleak as Theis was even hit with a yellow card.

With the crowd at the J.A.R. rocking, kills by Nichols and Post were followed by an Akron attack error that cut the deficit to 23-20. After a Zip timeout, an ace by Kelly Colyar was followed by two Akron errors to even things before a kill from Jacobi and another Zip error gave Ohio a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-23 third-set win.

"Sometimes a call that goes against you can light a fire under a team," Theis said. "That was the straw that broke the camels's back for our team. They realized they were not going to get any breaks so they took it upon themseleves to make their own breaks."

Ohio quickly jumped on a stunned Akron team for seven of the first 10 points in the fourth set. After the teams traded points, the `Cats still led 13-10. A block by Post and Jacobi was followed by three consecutive kills by Jacobi that stretched the lead to 17-10. In fact, the senior from Louisville would put together a run of six-successive kills for the Bobcats (points 15-20).

"When a player is feeling it, you have to keep getting her the ball" Theis added. "Mij was doing a good job this weekend at getting her the ball. She was like a shooter that's on fire, we had to keep getting her the ball in scoring opportunities."

Ohio continued to roll along and a kill by Post ended things, 25-20, in favor of the Green & White. Jacobi would finish the set with eight kills on 15 attempts for a .400 hitting percentage in the set.

Ohio will host Bowling Green and Miami next weekend in The Convo to close the 2010 MAC season.